DELHI – CULTURE
CULTURE IS THE ART OF LIVING
The people of Delhi are generally referred as “Delhi-ites” and they take the pride of falling in the fifth most populated urban area in the world. Delhi is the national capital of the country. The population of Delhi goes up to an approximate of at least 1,38,50,507 as per the census record in 2001.
Delhi has a lot of floating population along with those who migrate in to the capital looking for a better standard of living. Coming to the origin, there is a legend which dates back to 50 BC where it states that Delhi is named after a king Dhillu or Dilu who built the city. The culture of Delhi can be best expressed as comprising the following:
Hinduism is the main religion followed by the people of Delhi. Apart from Hinduism the other commonly practiced religions here includes Islam, Sikhism and Christianity. Islam forms the second largest population after Hindus in New Delhi.
The Muslim people of Delhi mainly live in Old Delhi in areas like Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, and so on. There is no specific ethnic origin of the people of Delhi for most of them are migrants coming from other states opting for a better standard of living.
With lot of historic association and Delhi being the capital of India it has a very rich cultural heritage which is very much evident by the number of monuments in the capital. Factors like multi-ethnic and multi-cultural bureaucracy and political system of India paved way for the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the people of Delhi.
The archeological department of India has conducted a survey and produced a report which confirms that there are 1200 heritage buildings and 175 monuments as national heritage sites.
The largest mosque of India namely the Jama Mashed and the Red Fort was constructed with beautiful architecture by the Mughals and the Turkic rulers. The people of Delhi take the pride of owning the three World Heritage Sites namely the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.
The people of Delhi are highly influenced by the culture and traditions of the neighboring states namely Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. So their customs and rituals also vary to a great extent depending on the different community and groups.
But mostly the customs related to the Hindu religion can be seen practiced by a major group of people of Delhi. One can witness a blend of modern lifestyles with the old customs and traditions in the people of Delhi. The people living in the area of Old Delhi still follow old traditions and customs whereas the people living in New Delhi follow new customs and traditions according to urbanization but still the people in both the area co-exist in harmony.
The Sikhs never miss going to the Gurudwaras where we can get to enjoy the old Gurbhani, Kawwalis and the Prabhat Ferries. The Hindus strictly follow the traditional practices of aartis and bhajans.The people of Delhi celebrate the traditional festival of ‘Phoolwalo-Ki-Sair’ with great joy.
Other festivals celebrated by the Delhites are Diwali, Dusshera, Holi, Id-Ul-Fitr, Lohri, Mahavir Jayanti, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Chhath, Krishna Janmastami, Maha Shivaratri, Eid ul-Fitr, Moharram and Buddha Jayanti.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
The people of Delhi are known for their traditional art and crafts. The Delhiites are known for their bamboo work and carpet weaving. The people of Delhi are great patrons of Kundan and Meenakari Jewellery and they do intricate and splendid work.
The famous Meenakari, or the skill of enamelling, was brought from Lahore to Delhi by the Hindu Punjabis. Delhi is also a dominant centre for ivory carving. The Delhiites are renowned for their exclusive paper craft.
Kite- making and Tazia which involves a paper craft consisting of coloured bits of paper pasted on a bamboo frame and carried in the Moharram procession (mourning to mark the martyrdom of the Prophets son). Tazias are used for a happy purpose too during the Phoolwalon ki Sair held every September.
There is no specific food in the cuisine of the Delhiites for it is a place of amalgamation of several cuisine styles for people from different parts of the country came and settled in Delhi.
In Delhi one can see a Punjabi enjoying idlli and sambhar whereas a South Indian eating Chole Bhature.With globalization, the Delhiites enjoy the best of embrace the best of the Indian and International cuisines which includes authentic Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Mediterranean, French, or American food.
Mughlai dishes like Kababs, Naans, Kormas, Pilafs and Nihari are some of the favourite food of the locals. Apart from the Mughlai cuisine the Delhiites are also ardent fans of Punjabi foods like Butter Chicken, Chole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, Saag and Makai Ki Roti, Tandoori Roti and Tandoori Chicken, etc.
Delhi is a multi-cultured and multi-linguistic city with people from almost every part of India and being one of the versatile cities in India, the people living here are into different kinds of occupation.
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